red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

So, I have a question for you, and it’s not a trick question. And I know you’ll give me an honest answer, and whatever it is, my feelings won’t be hurt.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

That is a lot of prefacing … can you get to the question?


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

After all these years working together on Red & Black, I feel like we each understand our respective responsibilities even though in speaking engagements we joke about me being in charge of “warm and fuzzy” and you being in charge of pragmatism and sarcasm.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

OK. And, your question is …?


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I’m not sure how to phrase it, so I’ll just come out and ask. Do you think of yourself as “the boss”?

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Do you?

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io


At the risk of sounding like a five-year-old, I asked you first! And you know I hate when you answer a question with a question. But my answer is … oh yes, definitely! In fact, on numerous occasions, I’ve been known to refer to you as “the boss” (with all due respect to Bruce Springsteen, of course). Even the girls have heard me refer to you that way, and they’ve never, not once, questioned me, so there must be some agreement, at least in my family, about who’s the boss.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Yes, I have heard you do that, but rarely take it seriously. Although sometimes I think you want me to be your “excuse” for doing, or not doing, something. It is a great conflict avoidance ploy because you can “blame” the decision on me.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io


True, but it’s also my way of finding out something without the pressure of outright asking.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Sound like a lot of extra work, especially as it will not change my answer.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io


The funny thing is I usually know the answer, but it helps when I hear myself “floating the idea” past you. And when it comes to Red & Black, there’s no question you’re in charge because you have the M.B.A. and decades of experience as a business executive.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Which merely means I have different areas of expertise and experience. When I was in the corporate world, I would hire to my weaknesses. I know what I know – I need people on my team who know what I do not.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io


Like the fact you always turn to me for what I call the “mere mortal” perspective. But that doesn’t change the fact that your business background and always being “all business” makes you more qualified to be a “boss.”

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Does it? As a parent, are you not the “boss” of your children? Helping them make better decisions, but overruling when necessary. How many times have we discussed, even at our most recent speaking engagement, that when you refer to yourself as “just a mom”, you are ignoring all your highly valuable skills?


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

And I get that, but only because you’ve pointed it out countless times. But if you hadn’t decided to turn my crisis into a book, a brand, and a business, I would’ve gone back to baking brownies and carpool lines.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

That sounds good, but the reality was you needed to take control of your life instead of it controlling you, and I just played the role of “bossy big sister” to make you see that. But, being bossy is very different from having the authority to be the boss.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

And you perfected being bossy when we were growing up, but you still haven’t answered my question. Do you think of yourself as “the boss”?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

How are you defining “boss”? As you know, I own 1% more of the company than you, which technically means I have more “authority”. I could pull rank, but when it comes to business, I prefer teamwork.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, we definitely make a good team, even with our very different backgrounds and personalities.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

The key to making the best business decisions is acknowledging that and learning from one another. And, always remembering there would be no Red & Black … without Red or without Black.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

OK, boss, whatever you say.
Photo by Rabbitti for iStock

It’s #GivingTuesday, and although it’s always a good time to think of others, remember all the people who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters long after the headlines have been forgotten.

And even though Black believes charitable giving can be “secretive”, she also knows there’s science proving helping others is good for you. (Warning: she likes to recommend the book “Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.“)

P.S. – Wherever you may choose to donate, beware of potential scammers. So, if in doubt – check them out! (Black likes GuideStar and Charity Navigator.)



red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I know today’s Giving Tuesday, but what I always find so amazing is how you treat every day as “Giving Tuesday."


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

What makes you say that? I do not donate to an organization or charity every day.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

You’re always so literal. I meant that the spirit of “giving to others”, whether donating or providing support in some way, seems to be part of your daily life.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I think you are exaggerating.
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Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Yes.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?
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Photo by htomas for iStock

When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,

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